Rwanda Unveils $60m Continental Nutrition Plant

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By Daniel Sabiiti

Africa Improved Foods (AIF) inaugurated a state-of-the-art facility, the first of its kind in Africa,

Malnutrition remains a key public health concern in Rwanda with the current Demographic and Health Survey results showing that chronic malnutrition affects 38% of children under the age of five, resulting in stunting.

In an effort to address this concern, Africa Improved Foods (AIF) has inaugurated a state-of-the-art facility, the first of its kind in Africa, to produce highly nutritious porridge flours (with added milk, vitamins and minerals) targeting vulnerable population segments.

Some of the beneficiaries will include; pregnant and breast-feeding mothers, infants and children more especially those in the first 1,000 days of their lives.

AIFRwanda CEO Amar Ali, Minister Mukeshimana and DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma

The official unveiling of the AIF Rwanda Plant, worth $60m this May 31, 2017; was held at the Kigali Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and attended by the minister of Agriculture, Geraldine Mukeshimana, and top officials from IFC, Dutch Development Bank-FMO, CDC Group plc, Royal DSM

Among them include Feike Sijbesma, the CEO of Royal DSM; a €12.9billion global science based company and Mauricio Adade, Board Chairman of Africa Improved Foods.

The plant which has been operational since November 2016 and besides its commercial brand ‘Nootri’, it also has fully fledged nutrition products ‘Shisha Kibondo’- produced for the most impoverished communities with the Government of Rwanda.

The facility also works with World Food Programme to produce relief food that are being distributed as far as Somalia and South Sudan.

Sitting on 40,000m² of land and employing over 300 staff, the plant has an annual production capacity of 45,000 tons making it one of the largest nutrition factory sites in the East African region.

Minister Mukeshimana said that the plant will enhance Rwanda’s plans to put an end to malnutrition.

“This factory is important and a testimony of public private partnership which brings investments that are really need.  Ending malnutrition is a moral obligation and Rwanda has subscribed and ending malnutrition as soon as possible 2025” or before.” Mukeshimana said.

AIF Rwanda Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ali Amar said that AIF progress has been made possible by the favourable business environment in Rwanda and strong support from the government.

“We are deeply committed towards investing in our future in Rwanda because we strongly believe that this country has a wealth of opportunities to offer. We will continue to deliver on our strategy of producing high quality, locally sourced, affordable nutritious products for all Rwandans as well as to East Africa,” Amar said.

Already working with over 9,000 large and small grain and cereal farmers, AIF Rwanda is wants to capitalize on the fast-growing demand for nutritious foods for the domestic market and exports especially to Uganda and the DRC.

AIF Rwanda is a joint venture between the Government of Rwanda and a consortium of four key international partners Royal DSM, Dutch development bank-FMO, CDC Group plc (the UK government’s Development Finance Institution) and IFC.

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